The indefinite strike called by a section of government employees against the decision to introduce contributory pension will derail the implementation of Plan projects of local self-government institutions and directly hamper the execution of sanitation, housing and infrastructure development projects.
With less than three months left in the current financial year, the Plan fund absorption rate of civic bodies has been estimated at less than 10 per cent of the sanctioned funds. This was in spite of a slew of concessions offered by the government to the civic bodies for securing approval from the officers designated for vetting and implementing the projects.
Sanitation projects of civic bodies are unlikely to take off in the current year. Even if a resolution is made for implementing the projects, the strike is likely to affect the release of funds by the designated officers and hence they may go awry. Urban civic bodies will be the worst hit.
The block panchayats have been given specific directions to focus on the housing sector. Right from project approval to fund release, almost all procedures were moving at a snail’s pace and now it is set to come to a complete standstill.
Right from the formulation of the Plan projects, the government had adopted a stance that about 50 per cent of the total allocation should be apportioned for infrastructure development. Compared to the productive sector, this being an easy option, a vast majority of the civic bodies had accepted this option too. The general impetus was on building roads, bridges and buildings. Starting from planning to execution, the strike is set to derail the entire scheme of things in this sector.
The training programmes offered by the government on Sankya software to the implementing officers are also understood to have gone haywire. The statements seeking reimbursement of the Central funds for the Centrally Sponsored Schemes executed at the behest of the civic bodies will have to be furnished soon. Preparation of statements is likely to be affected.
Considering the hiccups in the planning process in the current year, the government had announced that projects for the next financial year will be prepared in advance for ensuring timely clearance and approval. This calls for considerable preparation now.
Most of the civic bodies are still grappling with the implementation in the current year and have not yet got time to seriously chalk out an action plan for completing the process within the specific time. Advance preparation demands project conception for the next year at least in February. In the current scenario, it remains a difficult proposition.